by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Former IBF world minimumweight champion Florante Condes has won the vacant IBF Pan Pacific minimumweight title with a rousing 7th round TKO over young Cris Alfante at the San Dionisio Covered Court in Paranaque, Metro Manila.
International referee Bruce McTavish whose Philippine citizenship is reportedly on the way to being granted told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that he was “close to stopping it (the fight) twice” even as he remarked it could be a candidate for “Fight of the Year.”
Alfante’s manager, promoter Gabriel “Bebot” Elorde Jr claimed Condes “connected with a lucky punch” in a fight that Alfante was clearly winning. McTavish agreed with Elorde.
Aljoe Jaro said Condes hurt Alfante in round three with a left straight but Alfante foght back in the fourth round before a clash of heads resulted in a cut on the left eye of Condes with referee McTavish on the verge of stopping the fight after a second clash of heads resulted in blood streaming from the cut.
Condes continued gamely and caught Alfante with a big left which signaled the end of the fight.
Condes who won the IBF world title with a twelve round split decision over Muhammad Rachman of Indonesia on July 7, 2007 when he was managed by former boxer, trainer and promoter Aljoe Jaro broke off from his manager but is back with him once again and despite being 33 years of age, is on a torrid comeback trail.
Condes lost the title in his very first defense against Mexico’s Raul Garcia by a twelve round split decision in Garcia’s hometown of La Paz despite dropping Garcia in the final round and havkng him on the verge of a knockout.
Condes also lost a unanimous twelve round decision in an IBO title fight against South Africa’s Hekkie Budler on September 22, 2012 in South Africa.
In his last fight on January 11, Condes who carried the nickname “Little Pacquiao” because of his devastating left hand being southpaw, scored a 1st round TKO of Charie Cabilla.
With the win on Saturday, Condes improved his record to 27-8-1 with 23 knockouts while the 21 year old Alfante who won the vacant WBC Asia Boxing Council title beating Oliver Gregorio last October 27 dropped to 10-2 with 3 knockouts.